Celebrities React: Donald Trump Black History Month Speech
Celebrities are reacting to Donald Trump’s speech about Black History Month. See stars’ reaction tweets below.
Black History Month started on Wednesday, and this morning the White House held a “listening session” to mark the occasion. Joined primarily by African-American personnel who worked on his presidential campaign and transition, such as Omarosa, as well as Department of Housing and Urban Development (and former rival) Ben Carson, the president gave an introductory speech that’s now raising eyebrows. He made odd references to Frederick Douglass, and only mentioned Martin Luther King Jr. while decrying “fake news.” He also again referred to the media as the “opposition,” and frequently went off topic.
Now celebs on Twitter are criticizing the rambling remarks. Star Jones, for instance, tweeted, “Lawd… My 11 year old step son knows more #AmericanHistory & has a better command of English than the #POTUS!” One of the lines getting the most attention is when Trump said, “Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who has done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice.”
That prompted one Twitter user to suggest the president was taking part in the TV program “Drunk History,” leading Don Cheadle to tweet in Trump’s voice, “The best history is obviously Drunk History. It’s huge. Tremendous. Outstanding.” Gabrielle Union retweeted an NFL columnist, who observed, “Trump had no idea who Frederick Douglass was,” as well as football player-turned-producer Matthew A. Cherry, who replied, “None. Was fumbling through his notes like a crazy person.”
Posting footage of Trump’s statement, “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” asked, “DISCUSS: Who does Trump think Frederick Douglass is? #WhoDoesTrumpThinkFrederickDouglassIs.” Emmy Rossum retweeted the post. Patton Oswalt also mimicked Trump’s tone when he sarcastically posted, “‘Harriet Tubman. With that underground railroad. I would have run it ABOVE-ground. It would’ve been amazing.’ #TrumpOnBlackHistory.”
Lily Allen shared an excerpt of the speech where Trump said the “inner-city” is “terrible” and needs to be made “safe” with help from “law enforcement.” She commented, “MangoMussolini here during his MLK event this morning. So moving. Sad #blacklivesmatter.” A number of stars posted the full transcript, including Olivia Wilde, who wrote, “This makes me sick, sad, and scared. An alarming lack of respect. Condescending, clueless fool. #BlackLivesMatter.”
Will Arnett said of the speech, “This is lunacy. No matter your politics you must admit these are the rantings of a madman.I mean it. All politics aside.” And former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton, whose mom Hillary Clinton unsuccessfully ran against Trump, struggled to find the words for her reaction. All she mustered was, “This is…this is…”
Cher also tweeted, “Trump, Sincere about Celebrating Blk History Month from his heart (heart Not verifiable) Is as Sincere as Jeff Sessions loving 2Give Pres Obama a Pedicure.” The assembled press, which filmed the speech, was not permitted to stay for the duration of the event, but the @POTUS Twitter account tweeted afterward, “Proud to honor the start of Black History Month at the @WhiteHouse this morning with @VP Mike Pence.” The tweet, however, was not signed “-DJT,” so it did not come from Trump himself.